Readers' Corner

I want to start out by thanking everyone for sharing their party secrets. We've gotten a great response. And now, without further introduction, here are your ideas!

Our first party idea is from Julie:

    "I love having people over for a party and, instead of using boring place markers, I put a framed photo of each guest at their place. It's fun looking at all the goofy pictures (I love taking photos) and you all KNOW who sits where!

    Of course, this only works if you have photos of everyone. If you don't, try asking other friends or the family of that person. Someone with a good sense of humor is bound to help out."

What a fantastic idea! You could even send the frame and photo home with your guests as a little memento of the evening (if you can afford it).

Here we have an entire evening planned by Jill Basse:

    "I recently hosted a DJ Party. Here's how it works:
    1. Invite 4-8 people who have somewhat similar interests in

      music -- this is important. If you don't follow this rule, you'll end up with a headache and complaints!

    2. Have each of them bring their all-time favorite CD.
    3. Serve lots of appetizers and finger food and give each

      friend a turn playing DJ!!!

    4. Make sure that you take a turn too.
    * If you have a large crowd, only have a couple of songs

    from each CD played at a time so everyone gets a chance. Have some additional CDs available if you have a smaller crowd.

    ** This worked great for me. I had six jazz lovers over for

    an evening and we had New Orleans-style finger food and swinging sax all night!'

Sounds like you had a great time! Thank you for the great tip. Now we don't have excuses when it comes to party entertainment anymore!

Another Jill shared this idea:

    "This idea was given to me by Jenny Wojcik (she's so darn

    helpful). If you have a small apartment like me, host an open house instead of a party. Encourage guests to mingle, munch on appetizers, and arrive and depart as they please. This allows all of your limited space to be used and keeps it interesting. Thanks for the idea, Jenny!"

You're right, Jill. Jenny is darned helpful! Keep your eyes open for some great appetizer recipes coming soon to help you plan that party.

Finally, we have a light-hearted idea from Glen:

    "I can't cook worth a darn! However, whenever I host a party, I have guests raving about my skills as a chef. How do I do it? Easy! A few minutes before my guests arrive, I cook some fresh garlic and mushrooms in pepper-flavored olive oil. The aroma fools everyone into thinking that I've cooked the entire meal -- which, of course, I secretly get from the catering service down the road!

    If you can cook, great! If you can't, here's a great way to avoid the embarrassment."

How sneaky, Glen! However, I suggest you take a look at some of this month's articles. There are recipes for entertaining that even a novice can master. Good luck!

Well, now that the season is upon us, we'd love to hear what you do every year to make it special. Notice that I said holiday, not necessarily Christmas. You can share special ideas that apply to Thanksgiving to New Year's and everything in between. Show us that holiday style. Who knows? Maybe you'll inspire others to join in!

Well, there you have it. If you've got another idea that you want to share with us, use the form below and share away! Who might be gracing the pages of Seasoned Cooking too!

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